God Knows How to Save (Part 2)
The story behind these verses is straightforward. God had chosen Israel to be His special people; however they did not respect the privilege He gave them, and they hated His Son Jesus. So God left them to their own devices, and allowed the Gentiles (non-Jews) to hear about Jesus, believe in Him and receive mercy - while the Jews were apparently treated as enemies and outcasts. Thus, all human beings were proved to be disobedient to God's law and all equally in need of His mercy.
However God never abandons His promise. He never recalls His command to repent, and He never changes His mind. He always planned that the whole world should have the opportunity to be saved, first the Jews and then the Gentiles. The hardness of Israel's heart was God's opportunity to send the gospel to the rest of the Roman world. It was not that He hated His people but that they needed to realise that, although they knew the law, none had kept it perfectly. They needed as much mercy as the first generation of Gentile believers.
When God gives gifts, He honours the people He gives to; and expects a loyal response. When He calls, He expects that people will answer. Those who do not respond are not accepted but that does not mean that God has withdrawn His call. No, all have been disobedient; but the call of God is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who was fully obedient in His sacrificial death. And that is open to everybody. So when God calls, be sure to answer! And never assume that He will not call your friends or family, however disobedient they may have been previously. Whatever God has chosen to do He will do it! So keep on sharing the gospel and keep being surprised at the way in which God is amazingly merciful!
© Dr Paul Adams